Energy companies are worried. The industry’s woeful record in customer service and regulator run-ins is well known. So is its battle against the lack of public trust in the industry as a whole. But for years a potentially greater concern has been brewing at the headquarters of established and independent suppliers alike. The source of that concern is a multi-billion-pound Government mandated scheme to bring digitally connected smart meters to all British homes by the end of the decade. Smart meters hold the potential for a revolution in how consumers use energy – and how energy companies engage with their customers – but suppliers are warning that the £11bn scheme risks being derailed by years of delay to the technology at its heart. Smart meters work like traditional gas and electricity meters by me asuring energy use. The difference is that they can automatically send your usage information to your supplier through networks being created by the Data Communications Company (DCC). After over a year of delays to its technology, DCC’s system went live in November but was found to be unable to support pre-payment meters, which supply around six million homes across the country. The complete version is expected in the spring, almost two years later than expected. It’s not unusual for a national infrastructure scheme of this scale to suffer delays, but tied to the scheme are public fears over data privacy and cyber crime that need to be carefully managed to win the public’s trust.
Telegraph 17th March 2017 read more »